Exhibiting artists: Madaline Aguilar – Stephanie Behaim – Renata Berdes – Stella Brown – Guy Conners – Russell Copenharve – Howard Fonda – Amanda Gantner – Dan Gunn – Nicole Heusman – Liana Jeagers – Bill Lilly – Manal Kara – Paul Kenneth – Tairell Oliver-Young – Jack O’ Sullivan – Carol Pyes – Ed Rawsk – Brian Reed – Eric Ruschman – Fred Sasaki – Alex Scott – Kris Schenkel – Jenn Smith – Kelly Stone – Benjamin Torres – Jean Wilson – Miranda Winters – Maria Vanik – Chris Viau – Carrie Vinarsky
Curated by: Dana Bassett
Friday, August 31, 2018
The title of this exhibition is borrowed from the great American writer and humanitarian, Walt Whitman. In a 2002 essay, “For the Sake of People’s Poetry: Walt Whitman and the Rest of Us,” June Jordan questions why the great-grandfather of American poetry is not celebrated with the stature she believes this “weird” poet deserves.
Whitman dispensed with the European-centric and Old World canon, calling it “poisonous to the idea of the pride and dignity of the common people.” Jordan traces this linage, writing on the poetry of the “New World” and Whitman’s insistence on a legible and common, yet strong and wild democratic spirit in literature. Brave art that is for the many, rather than the few.
Defiantly straightforward, “The Beasts” has been organized according to a raw and democratic vision of how art might be. Featuring a diverse array of artists, including studio members of the Arts of Life, educators, elementary school children, tattoo artists, illustrators and other creative individuals, this exhibition celebrates the special bond between animals and humans. Sometimes as pet, but also as teacher, mystical guide, and fellow sentient being.
By Walt Whitman (1819–1892)
I THINK I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-containd;
I stand and look at them long and long.
They do not sweat and whine about their condition;
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins;
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God;
Not one is dissatisfied—not one is demented with the mania of owning things;
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago;